THE Comptroller of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Oluwatoba Bayeroju, on Wednesday identified increase in exchange rate as a factor responsible for delay in issuance of Nigeria international passport booklets.
He said this while addressing newsmen at a press briefing following complaints that those who applied for passports late last year till date had not been able to collect it.
Bayeroju assured that all outstanding applications would be cleared in one week, while dismissing insinuation that the scarcity was a deliberate act.
He explained that the delay was not peculiar to the State.
Bayeroju who failed to disclose the number of applicants yet to be cleared, however, hinted that approval had been given by the Comptroller General to scout for passports booklets and clear backlog of applications.
“We are not deliberately delaying issuance of passports. The point is that passports are not produced in Nigeria. They are produced in Malaysia and you know the exchange rate has affected everything you can think of.
“The Comptroller General has been magnanimous enough to make sure that passports are ready for people in the country. All what we are talking about will be a thing of the past. We only have 64 pages of passport booklet on ground, but by Thursday 32 pages will be ready.
“After leaving here now, I am going to Lagos and make sure there would be enough booklets by tomorrow. I can’t tell you the number of booklets I will bring from Lagos, but be rest assured that within one week we clear everybody on ground. So, within one week you can take me up on that.” he said.
The Comptroller denied extortion allegations on the part of NIS in Ogun, saying “most applicants patronise touts rather than going through the normal procedure.”
– Tribune Online